Rs 3-L crore TS Budget to focus on welfare schemes

Hyderabad: The state's annual Budget outlay for 2023–24 is projected to exceed Rs 3 lakh crore with a special emphasis on welfare schemes as the BRS government gets ready for the Assembly elections, which are set for December. Last year’s budget stood at Rs 2.56 lakh crore.

The state Cabinet, led by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, approved the Budget at a meeting in Pragathi Bhavan on Sunday. All eyes will be on state finance minister T. Harish Rao when he presents the Budget to the Assembly on Monday. It will be simultaneously presented to the Legislative Council by roads and buildings Vemula Prashanth Reddy.

A few of the welfare schemes that will receive higher allocations in the Budget include Aasara pensions, Kalyana Laxmi, Shaadi Mubarak, KCR kits, Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, free power, irrigation projects, Dalit Bandhu, and the sheep distribution programme.

The government is expected to increase allocations for the Rs 1 lakh crop loan waiver scheme and Rs 3 lakh financial assistance for the poor who own plots for construction of houses, which were campaign promises made by the TRS (now BRS) government during the 2018 Assembly elections, which remain unfulfilled.

Since the Centre has placed restrictions on loans (market and off-market borrowings), the state government has decided to rely on its own revenues to fund welfare schemes and development initiatives in the election year. Additionally, the prior fiscal year saw a complete breakdown in the state government's expectations for federal grants.

While the state government had anticipated receiving grants of Rs 40,000 crore from the Centre in 2022-23, it has received less than Rs 10,000 crore thus far, and the 2022-23 fiscal year will end in less than two months. In light of this, the state government has set its sights on mobilising funds through selling government lands, leasing out vacant buildings in the districts after they were shifted to Integrated Collectorate Complexes, as well as by taking initiatives to generate non-tax revenues.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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